Dominica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vince Henderson, passionately advocated for India to attain permanent membership status within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). He asserted that India has emerged as an influential global actor and should be seriously considered for full UN body membership.
Speaking at the ‘India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development’ event in New York City, Henderson emphasized, “I know that India is a country that’s historically very polite, and you will not say or ask for certain things. But I will say today that we believe that India is emerging as a very important global player and we believe that India deserves to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.”
Henderson underscored that India’s claim to a permanent UNSC seat is justified not only due to its status as the world’s most populous country but also because of its responsible exercise of power. He stated, “We believe that this is a matter that should be supported. We hope that India in turn, will continue to be a responsible member of the United Nations, but more so to be a good friend to small island developing states.”
Furthermore, the Dominican Foreign Minister expressed his country’s deep appreciation for the significant benefits derived from its partnership and cooperation with India.
Henderson acknowledged India’s support in human resource development, technical assistance in healthcare, education, and other developmental sectors, stating, “Over the years, we have had tremendous support in human resource development. Several Dominicans have pursued studies at universities across India. India has also been able to provide technical assistance to us in several areas in healthcare, in education and other fields of development. And we want to again say, thank you.”
Highlighting India’s vaccine diplomacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that India promptly responded to Dominica’s request for assistance and supplied vaccines. Dominica, in turn, distributed these vaccines to other Caribbean member states and around the world. Henderson expressed gratitude, saying, “I think it was just extending the hand of humanity.”
Henderson also expressed hope that India would collaborate with the international community to aid Haiti’s development and alleviate the suffering of its people.
In his address, Henderson acknowledged the challenge of assessing relevance and impact in the presence of a nation like India, the world’s most populous. He commended India for hosting the G20 Summit successfully and, more importantly, for using its presidency to give developing countries a voice, including membership in the African Union as part of the G20.
In conclusion, the Dominican Foreign Minister appreciated India’s gesture of friendship and assistance, despite its own challenges in poverty reduction. He expressed eternal gratitude for India’s willingness to reach out to small island states and developing countries.
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